(bCanterbury, bap. 27 March 1709; d Canterbury, 5 Jan 1798). English composer and music collector. A son of John Flackton, bricklayer and cathedral contractor, he was a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral under William Raylton from 1716 to 1725. During this time he was also apprenticed to Edward Burgess, bookseller, stationer and cathedral lay clerk. In the Kentish Post (December 1727) he announced his return from London and his setting up as a bookseller. He was joined in this business between 1747 and about 1767 by his brother John, a singer and horn player, in which latter connection John is said to be pictured in the painting reproduced as pl. xlix of Karl Geiringer’s Instruments in the History of Western Music (London, 1943, 3/1978); William Flackton’s song The Chace has a prominent horn part in its instrumental accompaniment. Between 1735 and 1752 Flackton was organist of St Mary of Charity, Faversham, where he presented an anthem of his composition at the installation of a new organ in 1737. The assertion in the obiturary notice in the Gentleman’s Magazine that he was ‘passionately attached to sacred music’ is borne out not only by his sacred compositions, which include the Hymns for Three Voices he published in connection with his interest in education through Sunday Schools, but also by his work in assembling collections of manuscripts. The Flackton Collection (GB-Lbl Add.30931–3) represents the collectings of Daniel Henstridge, Raylton and Flackton himself. Many of the holographs by Purcell and Blow in these volumes were obtained by Henstridge while at Rochester, while other 17th-century copies were added in Canterbury by later owners. Philip Hayes used the collection in 1784–5, making notes in it and acknowledging it as a source in his own copies, while the copyist of GB-Cfm Mus 183 recorded his debt to Flackton in 1783. Flackton was one of the principal organizers of public concerts in Canterbury from the 1730s until late in his life, often in conjunction with the cathedral organist of the day and, in earlier times, with Canterbury minor canon William Gostling. His activities are chronicled in advertisements in the Kentish Post and Kentish Gazette.
Of Flackton’s instrumental music, most interest attaches to his four sonatas for tenor violin (viola). In the preface to his op.2 sonatas (which were ‘inspected’ before publication by C.F. Abel) he stressed the claims of that neglected instrument and the need to increase its meagre repertory of solo music. Composing in a style already well outdated by the time of publication in 1770, he did so not only with ample competence but with considerable individuality and expressive power. In particular, the slow opening movement of the C minor viola sonata of 1776 has a haunting gravity of phrase which, though unmistakably in the idiom of the late Baroque, is far removed from mere echoes of stock material, and his viola sonatas survive for reasons beyond the mere paucity of the 18th-century repertory for the instrument. All his string music testifies to the regard of his contemporaries for his ‘refined and elegant taste’.
Songs sung during the penitential rites of the flagellants in the 13th and 14th centuries. SeeGeisslerlieder.
Flagello, Nicolas (Oreste)
(bNew York, 15 March 1928; d New Rochelle, NY, 16 March 1994). American composer, conductor and pianist. He studied composition with Vittorio Giannini and conducting with Jonel Perlea at the Manhattan School of Music (MM 1950); he won a Fulbright Fellowship to continue his studies at the Accademia di S Cecilia, Rome (Diploma di studi superiori 1956). From 1950 to 1977 he was professor of composition and conducting at the Manhattan School. He was also active as a conductor at the Chicago Lyric Opera (1961) and the New York City Opera (1967), and appeared frequently as a pianist. His many recordings with the Rome SO and the Rome Chamber Orchestra span a broad repertory. Flagello’s own music represents a distillation and intensification of European post-Romanticism, tempered by an American concision of structure. His early compositions reflect close ties to 19th-century models; however, with The Judgment of St Francis (1959), he arrived at a more mature, personal language characterized by tighter phrasing, denser textures, more astringent harmony and asymmetrical rhythms. Major works are often marked by brooding despair and violent agitation, which find release in massive climaxes. Yet even his later compositions retain a propensity for expressive melody and harmonic richness, with a clear anchoring in tonality at structural peaks. Despite its emotional effusiveness the music is tightly structured, with a skillful and imaginative use of subtle instrumental colours. Although his unfashionably romantic style attracted little attention during most of his life, his music began to find an enthusiastic audience after he ceased composing.
Mirra (3, Flagello, after V. Alfieri), op.13, 1953; The Wig (1, Flagello, after L. Pirandello), op.14, 1953, New York, 1990; Rip van Winkle (C. Fiore), op.22, 1957; The Sisters (1, D. Mundy), op.25, 1958, New York, 1961; The Judgment of St Francis (1, A. Aulicino), op.28, 1959, New York, 1966; The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Flagello, after R. Browning), op.62, 1970, New York, 1970; Beyond the Horizon (Flagello, after E. O’Neill), op.76, 1983